Leeah Lomax, Member and Donor Relations Manager
IN FEBRUARY, a colleague and I went to the Department of Veterans Affairs for an EarthShare event. EarthShare is a federation of American environmental nonprofits that raises funds primarily through a workplace giving model. At this event, I was able speak with many employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs and tell them about the work that American Forests does. Many people visited my table and were thrilled to learn of our tree planting projects, our Big Tree program and, especially, about giving the Gift of Trees — having trees planted in the name of a loved one.
American Forests has been an active member of EarthShare for more than 20 years. These events allow workplaces and their employees to learn more about different causes and charities before making a choice about their workplace giving. Through EarthShare, American Forests has received funding from more than 20 workplace giving campaigns yearly.
One of my favorite memories is from an event around Earth Day last year at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va. There were more than 300 employees who visited American Forests’ table. I will never forget one particular employee whose smile brightened as I spoke about some of our work. She was intrigued to learn all that we did at American Forests and that we were the oldest conservation nonprofit in the country. She also admired this award-winning magazine, American Forests, as I had taken a sample to showcase one of the benefits of being a member. She shared with me that she had an aunt who was turning 90 years old. For this extraordinary milestone in her aunt’s life she wanted to do something special and grand. The very next morning, I received a call at my desk. Sure enough, it was the employee from the day before calling to have trees planted as a birthday gift for her aunt.
The EarthShare events have allowed me to engage with the public to increase awareness and help make our earth greener. It’s a good feeling to meet so many wonderful people and touch people’s lives in different ways. Through these events, people become more concerned for our environment and they want to make a difference. When you make a charitable donation with American Forests, it’s a gift that keeps on living.
Learn more about the Gift of Trees at www.americanforests.org/gift-of-trees.